6. How does IVF treatment work?
Prior to beginning an IVF treatment cycle, both parties (if applicable) will first undergo an initial assessment. Patients will be advised on treatment preparation, including any medications, during this early stage.
Each patient’s stimulation can look different depending on various factors. Generally, the patient will receive daily injections of follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) with or without luteinizing hormone (LH) for approximately 8 -14 days to stimulate the ovaries and create multiple eggs.
The egg retrieval is a procedure in which doctors insert a speculum into the vagina to clean the cervix, then, using an ultrasound technique, the follicles in the ovary will be located prior to the collection of eggs and follicular fluid. The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes and is accompanied by a sedative or local anesthetic.
On the same day of the egg retrieval, a sperm sample is required. This is provided by your partner or pre-arranged sperm donor.
After the eggs are extracted from the ovaries, they will be fertilized with the sperm sample provided. The fertilized eggs are then placed in an incubator for 5 days to develop into a mature embryo known as a blastocyst. At this stage, the blastocyst can be transferred to the patient’s uterus or a gestational carrier for implantation and potential pregnancy. If there are multiple blastocysts or if you plan to do a frozen embryo transfer, they can be safely frozen for future transfer.
When your body and embryos are ready for implantation, embryo transfer will take place. The procedure entails inserting a speculum, cleansing your cervix, and placing the embryo in the upper portion of your uterus using an embryo transfer catheter. The experience is comparable to a PAP smear.
A pregnancy test will be administered about two weeks after the procedure to determine if you are successfully pregnant, and an ultrasound will be performed 2-3 weeks later to ensure that an embryo has been successfully implanted in the uterus.